James Carmon: "We are going to be real good"

To say Mississippi State junior college defensive tackle transfer James Carmon is excited about the new and improved James Carmon and the new and improved defensive line would be an understatement.

Most Bulldog fans are excited about the potential of the Mississippi State defensive line that includes players such as senior Pernell McPhee, juniors Sean Ferguson and James Carmon and sophomores Fletcher Cox, Josh Boyd and Nick Bell.

And according to one of those players, James Carmon, the Bulldog fans should be excited.

"The depth on this defensive line is crazy," said Carmon. "Right now, we really have a two-deep. That one and two deep, we are going to be rolling. We all are going to be rolling."

He gives a lot of the credit to new MSU defensive line coach Chris Wilson.

"If we do like (MSU defensive line) Coach (Chris) Wilson says and drink his kool-aid, we are going to be real good," said Carmon. "But it won't have sugar in it because sugar slows you down (laugh)."

Carmon knows all about sugar and how to it slows you down. Prior to attending Mississippi State as a December junior college transfer, Carmon loved to eat, eat and then eat some more. And while he was a great junior college defensive lineman he wasn't playing anywhere near his potential. The fact was that he was simply too big.

"I weighed 370 (in junior college)," said Carmon. "I had a big belly, shirt off my jersey and everything else."

The Bulldog coaches didn't like what they saw so they immediately told him when he first got to campus the weight needed to go.

"It was hard at first (trying to lose weight) because I was used to eating, eating, eating," said Carmon. "Then, (MSU head strength) Coach (Matt) Balis had a one-on-one meeting with me one day and told me that I had to tone it down. He said if I would listen to him he would help me get there. So, I listened to him and that is what I did."

And did he ever.

"I weigh 330 now," said the 6-foot-7 Carmon. "And that's what they want me at. I wanted to get down to 320. Two weeks ago I was down to 324 and getting to 320. But they said they didn't really want me to get down to 320. My coach said he wanted me at 330. So, I had to pick my weight back up. That was unusual for me. I was thinking like 'do you really want me to do that (laugh)'."

After changing his eating habits he came to realize it wasn't such a difficult task after all.

"(Losing weight) is really a mind thing," said Carmon. "It's not hard to do. It's just eating right. Not eating real late then going to sleep. Eating vegetables and fruit. I was doing all (the wrong things) in junior college and high school. I had to tone it down."

Carmon eventually started seeing the results of his weight loss during the spring but he really noticed it at the start of the summer when the conditioning workouts began.

"It started coming gradually (in the spring) but when I came in at the start of summer and we did our first running test, that is when I realized that I felt a whole lot better," said Carmon.

And it wasn't just the running. Everything about him improved.

"I gained strength, quickness, speed, technique," said Carmon. "Even my heart rate is slowing down. I'm not tired after two or three plays. I can really go now. Before, after three or four plays, I was ready to call in a sub. But now I can go 10, 11 plays; whatever the coach wants me to do I'm going."

With the improvement came a side benefit - more confidence.

"My confidence level was kind of low in the spring because I didn't know to react to the speed (of the SEC)," said Carmon. "Now, I know how to react to it and my confidence level is through the roof. I'm ready to play ball right now."

And if he has his way he plans on playing ball for many years to come.

"This is the SEC. I have to take my game to another level because I'm trying to make my momma proud," said Carmon. "And I want to play myself to the next level, which is the NFL. And that's what I am going to do!"

There is reason for excitement Bulldogs fans. Don't believe me, then talk to James Carmon for about 10 minutes and you will be a believer.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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